Work zones are an unavoidable reality on Florida’s roadways, and the chances of you encountering one when traveling across the state are high. While these construction zones may lead to unnecessary delays, they are also common sites for car wrecks. Many such car wrecks lead to injuries and fatalities, with Florida reporting the nation’s second-highest number of work zone road deaths in 2016.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, 3% of all road fatalities that occur across the nation take place in work zones. Also, about 2% of all serious injuries suffered in car crashes occur in work zones.
Work zone risks and hazards
What is it about Florida’s work zones that make them so dangerous to navigate? Sometimes, construction zone crashes are the direct result of construction-related hazards. Unanticipated lane closures and unfamiliar detours may increase your crash risk. Hazards in the road, such as traffic cones, or visual obstructions, such as construction signs or machinery, may also heighten work zone crash risks.
Behavioral work zone hazards
Other hazards associated with work zones result not from the work zones, themselves, but rather, from other negligent drivers traveling through them. Speeding is among the two most common violations drivers receive in work zones. Many associated crashes involve rear-end collisions that occur from drivers speeding and following others too closely. Driver distraction is the other most common violation authorities see in Florida’s work zones.
Motorists who consume alcohol before navigating Florida’s work zones also enhance crash risks. Many of the state’s work zone crashes that result in at least one injury or fatality also involve alcohol.